Best Portable WiFi Travel Routers in 2020

The travel routers and mobile hotspot devices are now an essential need for everyone. In everyday life, we go to different places like the office for work, the market for shopping or jaunt on a cruise ship with loved ones. While traveling, we use our communication devices to stay in touch with friends and family via the internet. To do so, we need a secure and reliable Wi-Fi connection; that’s where these portable wireless routers come in.

Nowadays, most travelers prefer travel WiFi router to get online, because it’s secure, reliable, and comes with a firewall. To make it easy for you, we crafted a list of the top-rated portable routers. Also, we are still waiting for the next-gen 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 travel routers yet to release in the market.

5 Best Portable Wireless Travel Routers

Brand Bandwidth
HooToo TripMate Titan 300 Mbps Buy Now
RAVPower FileHub 433 Mbps Buy Now
TP-Link Portable Nano Router 433 Mbps Buy Now
GL.INET GL AR300M 300 Mbps Buy Now
TRENDnet N150 Wireless Travel Router 150 Mbps Buy Now

HooToo TripMate Titan (HT-TM05 N)

Overall top-rated travel router for hotels and outdoor trips.

HooToo TripMate Titan Portable Wi-Fi Router with Power Bank
ModelHT-TM05 N
Frequency Band2.4 GHz
Max Wi-Fi Speed300 Mbps
Size1.65″ x 1.65″ x 3.74″
Weight0.55 lb

Hootoo TripMate is one of the powerful portable routers with a 300 Mbps wireless transfer rate. It’s not just a traveling router; it also works as a power bank with 10400mAh battery backup to charge your smartphones and tablets too.

TripMate is a multipurpose WiFi extender that can be used in home and office as well. It has a rubber flap seal to protect the ports from dirt and dust. Moreover, it comes with an Ethernet, USB, and Micro-USB port for charging the device. Other features include the data backup with a maximum of 7 Mbps data transfer rate. You can take backups of your files on your external drive, laptop, or smartphone on the go.

The only drawback is it doesn’t support VPNs if you need a VPN router, this isn’t for you.

RAVPower FileHub (P-WD009)

Best portable router with SD Card slot and USB port for automatic backups on external drive.

RAVPower FileHub (P-WD009) Portable Wireless Router
ModelP-WD009
Frequency Band2.4/5 GHz
Max Wi-Fi Speed433 Mbps
Size4.45″ x 3.03″ x 0.91″
Weight0.43 lb

One of our favorite travel router with the automatic backup feature using the RAVPower FileHub App. The RAVPower features an SD Card slot, USB, Micro-USB, and Ethernet port. The buttons include Dual-Band switch for 2.4/5.8 GHz, dedicated SD Card to USB, and Power button. It also has a 6700 mAh replaceable battery with about 14 hours backup.

You can seamlessly share your photos, videos, and music with five devices on connected devices via Web or Mobile App. Moreover, the RAVPower is a dual-band travel wireless router with a super-fast speed of 433 Mbps data transfer on WiFi.

Unfortunately, like its sister brand Hootoo, it also doesn’t support a VPN setup on router.

TP-Link AC750 Portable Nano Travel Router (TL-WR902AC)

One of the first portable WiFi router for travelers that is lightweight and pocket friendly.

TP-Link AC750 Portable Nano Travel Router (TL-WR902AC)
ModelTL-WR902AC
Frequency Band2.4/5 GHz
Max Wi-Fi Speed433 Mbps
Size2.64″ x 2.91″ x 0.87″
Weight0.5 lb

TP-Link was one of the first companies that introduce the concept of travel wireless routers. The TP-Link Nano Router is a pocket-friendly device but with limited features. You can use it as a Range Extender, Access Point, or Wi-Fi Bridge.

It offers dual-band WiFi connectivity on 2.4/5 GHz with a maximum speed of 433 Mbps. That allows you to stream 4K Videos on Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick, and play multiplayer games smoothly. Moreover, you can have one USB 2.0 port to share your media files on your smartphone or laptop. You can even charge your smartphones and tablets via USB port with a maximum output of 5V/2A.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a battery backup; you need to plug it into the wall charger to switch it on. However, it features a flexible powering option, which lets you power-on the router using a portable power bank or laptop.

GL.INET GL AR300M

Best OpenWrt mini travel router with VPN for everyday use.

GL.INET GL AR300M OpenWrt firmware Portable WiFi Router for Travel
ModelGL AR300M
Frequency Band2.4 GHz
Max Wi-Fi Speed300 Mbps
Size2.28″ x 2.28″ x 2.28″
Weight0.09 lb

The GL.INET AR300M Mini Travel Router is for working professionals. It comes with pre-installed OpenWrt firmware and supports 20+ VPN service providers. You can have two WAN/LAN Ethernet ports, one USB 2.0, the Mode switch button, and Micro-USB for power.

It offers four types of connection modes; you can use Ethernet WAN, Wi-Fi Repeater, 3G/4G USB modem, or Tethering feature to use your phone as a modem. All these features make it one of the desirable portable router and Amazon’s best selling product. However, it’s a single band WiFi router with a maximum 300 Mbps transfer rate on 2.4 GHz.

So far, as compared to the other devices in our list, the GL AR300M offers the best features. The only drawback is; it needs a 5V/1A wall charger to power it up.

TRENDnet N150 Wireless Travel Router (TEW-714TRU)

Affordable Wireless Travel Extender with speed of 150 Mbps.

TRENDnet N150 Wireless Travel Router (TEW-714TRU)
ModelTEW-714TRU
Frequency Band2.4 GHz
Max Wi-Fi Speed150 Mbps
Size3.2″ x 1.5″ x 2″
Weight0.26 lb

The TRENDnet Wireless N150 is more like a WiFi Extender. It’s a single-band Wi-Fi travel router with a maximum speed of 150 Mbps and IPv6 support. It comes with three interchangeable power plugs that include North America, UK, and Europe’s standard. The connection modes include Router via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, Access Point, and Repeater.

You can find a Reset button, Ethernet, and two USB ports on the bottom of the device. Out of two USB ports, one is for file sharing, and the other is for charging your mobile and tablet. On the left side, there are two dedicated buttons, one for WPS, and the other to switch between WISP, Router, and Repeater modes. Similarly, you can find the on-off power switch on the right side of the router. Unfortunately, it can only be powered on via wall switches, which makes it more like a Wi-Fi Extender than the travel router. However, for the price of $15, this is one of the cheapest portable wireless routers in our list.


Buying Guide of Portable Wireless Travel Routers

Before buying a wireless travel router, you must consider the following guide at the time of purchase:

Size and Weight of a Router

It would be best if you make sure the portable router you are buying is small and lightweight to carry around. It is vital to purchase a device that is compact to fit in your pocket or a bag. All the above Wi-Fi routers are handy enough to move around in your laptop sleeve.

Security Encryption

It is essential to buy a portable router that offers WPA2 security encryption. The Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 is considered as the most secure method of safeguarding your wireless connection. CISCO also recommends it. Now there are standard WPA3 routers, but there isn’t any travel wireless router we found during our research that supports WPA3 Encryption.

VPN Support

For those who travel for business and office work, a VPN enabled router is the best option. If you don’t know what a VPN is, please consider reading our article for a brief introduction. It bypasses the ISP traffic logging system and connects you to a secure private network. But it’s not just limited to protect your privacy; it also allows you to unblock websites, torrents, and Netflix’s content. However, it depends on your VPN service provider; we recommend you go for ExpressVPN.

Speed and Range

If you like to stream 4K videos, download large files, or play online games on your laptop or console. It would be best if you have a wireless router that provides at least 300 Mbps data transfer rate on Wi-Fi. The dual-band travel routers in our list offer up to 433 Mbps, which is fast enough for streaming 4K movies on Netflix. Similarly, the 2.4 GHz bandwidth can give you better range coverage to cover long-distance WiFi on 802.11ac standard.

Benefits of a Travel Router

  • It creates a private, secure Wi-Fi connection on a free public hotspot or a hotel internet connection.
  • You don’t need to add your devices to new Wi-Fi networks.
  • It hides your connected devices on public WiFi and bypasses the limit of devices on a network.
  • It allows you to turn a wired internet or 3G/4G USB dongle into wireless.
  • You can even connect your SD Card, SSD, HDD, or Flash drives to a travel router.
  • Some of them also include the WiFi Tethering feature to turn your smartphone into a 3G/4G modem.
  • Travel routers can also be used as wireless extenders in your home or office to remove Wi-Fi dead spots.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this topic, we tried to answer all the crucial questions and concerns of a consumer regarding portable routers.

What is a Travel Router?

In uncomplicated terms, it’s just like the Wi-Fi router that you have in your home. It’s small and portable, which makes it suitable for carrying around while traveling. However, the core features are the same standard wireless router.
A portable router is a simple solution to connect and manage your devices in public Wi-Fi networks. No matter where you are, at the airport, hotel, or on a cruise for vacation, a travel router gives you secure wireless network access.

What does a Travel Router do?

It is a fully functional wireless router, like the one in your home or office. In router mode, it allows you to convert wired, Wi-Fi, or 3G/4G USB modem into wireless connection. Other features include, Extender, Bridge, and Access Point which will enable you to expend the existing WiFi singles for better coverage and speed.

Is it secure to use Portable Router?

Yes, most of the modern travel routers use WPA2 Encryption to secure your Wi-Fi connection. Moreover, these portable routers come with firewall security to protect you from DDoS Attacks and unauthorized access to your network.

Do I need an Ethernet cable to use it?

Not necessarily you can use any Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to the internet. However, since it’s a fully functional wireless router you can use Ethernet cable as well.

Do I need a SIM Card with Portable Routers?

No, travel wireless router doesn’t require a SIM card for internet connection. However, you can use a 4G modem with some of these portable routers. In short, it works as a WiFi Extender to boost your network connection.

Where to download RAVPower FileHub App?

The RAV FileHub App is available for free on both Android and iOS devices. You can find it by searching for RAV FileHub on Google Play or App Store.

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Naveed is a 25-year-old Pakistani, working as a Tech Reviewer for LookGadgets. He is also a Certified Network Engineer and doing Masters in Network Security.

1 thought on “Best Portable WiFi Travel Routers in 2020”

  1. I live in rural area. I need a router that will convert a cell signal into a wifi signal. Little or no cell signal at home. I have to go about a mile away to get cell signal. (Higher elevation). I need a router that is battery powered. I need router I can use in my truck.

    Reply

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